April 22nd, 2012, 5:46 pm · · posted by GUEST
When it comes to performing at festivals, Ricky Wilson has a mischievous streak and penchant for danger. The last time the Kaiser Chiefs leader played here a few years ago, it was on the Outdoor Theater stage and he decided to scale the side.
Late Saturday afternoon on the Coachella Stage, the British pop/rock band’s engaging set saw the singer embark on another climbing excursion, by taking a trip out to the beer garden in search for a cold brew and mixing it up with fans.
As for the music, the amped up takes on ’90s Britpop and ’80s New Wave sounds contained a healthy dose of English irreverence.
Wilson told the crowd, “it’s the second week at Coachella and everything feels fresh.” Another time he boasted, “here’s another treat” and “make the most of us.”
Taking the stage to Dire Straits‘ “Money for Nothing,” Kaiser Chiefs opened with the hyperkinetic “Na Na Na Na Naa,” among several selections off 2005 debut disc “Employment.”
Equally spastic were “Oh My God” and the minor U.S. modern rock radio hits “I Predict a Riot” and “Ruby.” Wilson often pogoed right along with the audience. The insistent pace of “On the Run” and almost Devo-esque “Kinda Girl You Are,” off 2012′s great “Start the Revolution Without Me” were also standouts.
Since I missed Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds over the holidays and was always a big Oasis fan, I had high expectations for the Mancunian singer/guitarist’s set here. And I wasn’t disappointed. While it’s true that he basically just gets down to business live, the frequently majestic tunes more than make up for any perceived shortcomings in stage presence. Then again, younger brother Liam always just stood at the microphone during Oasis gigs.
(Astute listeners might’ve heard Noel Gallagher’s upcoming experimental project, Amorphous Androgynous, piped over the sound system before the elder Gallagher began.)
On the Coachella Stage, Gallagher’s tasty baker’s dozen launched with an acoustic-based version of Oasis’ “It’s Good to Be Free” and also included his old group’s “Talk Tonight,” “Little By Little,” “Mucky Fingers” (thunderous, with forceful vocals and pounding piano work), “Half the World Away” (a breezy gem) and soaring closer, “Don’t Look Back in Anger.”
People who were previously paying scant attention, suddenly perked up hearing one of Oasis’ biggest stateside hits. Gallagher rounded those out with songs from the High Flying Birds that fared well too, notably the psychedelic “Everybody’s on the Run,” the ominous “AKA…What a Life!” with rollicking piano and “If I Had a Gun.”
As the evening got crazier, I headed over to the packed Mojave tent to catch Kasabian. The British dance rockers’ brash music has an exultant quality that makes you feel like you can take on the world. That vibe is multiplied in a live setting.
Before their set, roadies tossed hundreds of large personally emblazoned glow sticks to those in front, making the atmosphere event more charged after the lights dimmed.
Starting with a brawny new “Days are Forgotten,” the band also did the silly, yet powerful title track on 2011′s “Velociraptor!,” plus the album’s electrifying “Re-Wired” and sinister undertow of “Fire.” Singer Meighan worked thecrowd into a frenzy throughout and the musicians took everything to a higher level during “Club Foot.”
By George A. Paul for The Orange County Register.
For more Coachella coverage all weekend go toocregister.com/coachella.